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Sunday, 22 July 2007

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Lioness

I'm ready, I'm ready!

SPOILER!!!


I hated this last book, hated it! I read it in one sitting and it lacked the HP feeling that was present in all other books, I am so disappointed I could weep. It failed to grab me and I was absolutely unprepared for it. And now - no more! Still can't believe it. I'll re-read it in a while and hope I'll feel differently abt it. Meh.

May

Me, too! I'm done, I'm done! Exhausted, but done.

*MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW*

*NO, SERIOUSLY: DON'T CONTINUE IF YOU'RE NOT DONE WITH THE BOOK!!*

I LOVED how they tied up Snape's character. I did see a lot of it coming from fairly early on, but still, it was nice. Rowling didn't try and completely redeem everything he did, but clarified what really happened in a cool HP way, and showed how brave he'd really been. That pensieve has been a great tool for her to reveal things that happened in the past. And, as someone who spent the last 2 years hoping that somehow, Dumbledore wasn't REALLY dead, the whole bright blue eye, mysterious doe Patronus, meeting in the train station, and finally headmaster's portrait was enough to satisfy me. Sniff, sniff.

As for the comment above, I don't see how she really could have continued the mystique of the early books indefinitely. Once we got used to the world she created (owls, magical wand-stirring pots, etc) I think we, as readers, became much more difficult to impress. I did miss a big final reunification scene with Ginny, though, but I guess it was more important to have that with Ron and Hermione. And she resisted the urge to tie absolutely every loose end into a nice bow (a la Lord of the Rings... that "finale" took 30 minutes of screen time!).

Anyway, It wasn't exacltly as I would have written it, but I am satisfied. (And very proud of myself for figuring out the secret of the last Horcrux as soon as I finished Book 6.)

And finally, thanks for posting the link to those ultimate chocolate sandwich cookies. They were GOOD.

thalia

So glad you both posted! Lioness I didn't feel the same way, not sure what was making you feel like that - the absence of a real hogwarts presence for most of the book? The darkness of the whole book? That Harry was different? Would be interesting to hear what made you feel that way.

I really did think it was MILES better than the last 2 which just went on and on with pointless pages and pages of stuff that went nowhere.

Yup, I thought harry was a horcrux too, so feel vindicated on that one, and thought there was no way snape could be all bad after all the signs in the last book, although she did a good job in the first chapter of making me doubt myself. I did think that the dumbledore redemption was perhaps a bit much, plus the overly tied-up ending, but I have to remind myself that she's writing a children's book and she's always been on the simpler side in terms of plot devices. Still, I'd like to see how neil gaiman, say, might have treated the same situation...

Lori

SPOILERS BELOW


Loved it! I remember discussing the "Harry is a Horcrux" theory at my good friends wedding with her future BIL. I think HP6 had just come out. Not surprised that Harry lived in the end - that would be just too lousy and it is a kids book afterall. Now I'm just waiting for J to finish it so I don't have to go in the other room & whisper when my friend calls to discuss.

Patience

SPOILERS!!!

Loved it loved it - Harry was a much darker, moodier boy; I had to keep reminding myself that he's 17 now!

Probably my biggest relief was Snape, I just KNEW it.

Like you thalia, I had to keep remembering that ultimately they are children's books, however I did miss the presence of Hogwart's through most of the book.

elizabeth

Spoilers here, too!


Finally finished, and I loved it as well. It did have a much different feel, and I missed Hogwarts, but I thought the story was very good. I have had faith in Snape ever since he put himself between Harry, Ron, and Hermione and Lupin in werewolf form in book 3, so it was nice to see him redeemed.

Vicky

Loved the book, the tenty stuff went on a bit. Second half fantastic and I loved the huge battle scene and Neville's bravery (will look amazing on screen too). It ended a bit too quickly - four pages from Voldy dying to the end. We needed a reunion scene, a taking stock scene, a note to let us know how the wizarding community was repairing itself and what self examination was taking place for letting this happen again. Who was new Headmaster? That stuff.

The epilogue was sickeningingly sweet and I didn't like it. Really all she did was enumnerate their children and tell us their names - great, so we basically know they got married and no one's infertile. Or their ART was successful. Either way, there were loads of loose ends to tie up and yes, maybe it was OK not to know every detail but seriously - what are their jobs? Who did Draco marry (should have been Luna)? What did happen to Luna? George? etc etc. Basically I felt like Voldy died, JK heaved a big sigh of relief, twiddled on the computer a bit more and slapped it in the post. Great book, bad ending ("all is well" as a last line??? That was my finishing line on my little short stories when I was 11).

Kay/Hanazono

Just started chapter 9 of the audiobook, saving most of it for my business trip this week (bought an ipod just for the occasion!). Can't wait to discuss when I return...
xx

Anna

Oh, thank God you've finished so I actually can discuss this with SOMEONE! And judging by the comments, with several someones, actually.

Loved it. Loved that she explained Snape (I thought he was out for his own agenda), shocked to find out Harry was a horcrux (thought that there had to be a spell to create one, so reasoned that Harry couldn't possibly be a horcrux. Clearly v. wrong on that count). Would have liked a little more resolution at the end - what happened afterwards as the wizarding world rebuilds, and how badly Umbridge was tortured).

I thought that LV might meet his end via a dementor, as "fates worse than death" have been discussed in the books before. Just glad he's dead though. I feel emotionally drained, having read through this since Saturday morning, and waiting for Mr. R to finish so I can talk about it with him.

Hope you're well and feeling good. I know you're looking forward to your daughter's arrival... We are too!

nona

Spoilers here too!

OMG, Thalia, I haven't been here in FOREVER! It is wonderful to hear you and the little one are well! How great to visit and see an HP7 discussion!

I am curious about whether anyone else cried. I sobbed when Dobby died, and when Harry learned he was a horcrux. ALso was sad about Snape loving Lily thing, and when Snape was horrified that DD said Harry had to die. I can't say I was surprised much bc I read some theory books, but I thought Rowling did a great job. She had me sobbing (but I'm extremely hormonal now-- visit my blog for my latest drama.)

Hubs and I were on a roadtrip back home and I was all weepy, and he thought I was just insane. (He's not an HP fan, but took me to the midnight party and had fun too. As I read I would sob, and then report to him what was happening. When Harry was alive again, he said the book sounded stupid, and I just went nuts and started screaming at him. Anyhoo, I know I must have looked like a lunatic while finishing this book.)

Mostly, I'm just so sad that it's over now. I love the comments here-- the one about the non-infertile news in the epilogue had me laughing. Finding your webpage after so long really cheered me up today!

Patience

*aarrghh* my comment got eaten!!!

Anyhoo, cried when Hedwig died, thought she deserved better. Cried when Dobbie died, and when Harry's loved ones joined him to face Voldy.

would like to have known more about the Dursleys, I had it in my head that they would have played a bigger part in this book, especially Petunia who I was convinced was a witch!

I had to snort at the end, typically they got their kids! Harry is the age I am NOW and his kids are going to school!!!

thalia

Crying? Oh yes. When dobby died, when the massed ranks of 3 houses stood up for harry, during the snape story, when harry went back out of his head, and at the end. But I cry A LOT anyway, don't take me as a benchmark.

Oh yes and the children galore? A little over the top sweet and too neat for words. Agree she's made me care enough about Luna, Neville etc that I felt a bit cheated not to hear about what happened to them, too. And why did no one call their son Fred?

Patience - perhaps wizards don't need ART? Some magical conjuring of sperm and egg? Or would that go against those laws of conjuring that hermione went on about that meant they couldn't conjure food?.

Lioness

SPOILERS AHEAD.

Oh I cried for every death starting with poor, poor Hedwig although I knew there'd be carnage, Rowlings had made that very clear. I knew there had to b a good reason for Snape to have killed Dumbledore bcs she wouldn't have destroyed Dumbledore as a character (his coherence, I mean) like that. It wasn't so much Hogwarts that I missed, although I did enjoy their lives there a lot, the minutiae of it. And if you think about it, the last book had a lot of darkness as well but it felt honest whereas this one just didn't feel like a Harry Potter book at all. She did it consistently for 6 books so maybe she just got tired of Harry, it's happened to other authors, but I don't think I can forgive her, Neville was always so loyal and so brave at heart, and Luna as well, didn't they deserve a bit more, and what about Draco and Petunia, one turns bad after all albeit unwillingly and the other is jealous and OH WELL ALL IS EXPLAINED?

I felt like I was kept waiting for things to happen for most of the book, it was too dull to my utter disbelief, and then it was as though she'd thought "Enough already, let's have some fun now" and compressed it all into the very last bit. Also, she waited until the last book to introduce a heavily flawed Dumbledore and it didn't ring true to me at times. And the ending annoyed me so much, I did not want Harry to die but this? Oh all right he dies, sort of, but bcs he is willing to die well then, not really - what?? Not convincing, did that work for his mum, did that work for anyone else willing to die out of loyalty in the books for that matter? And THIS is the ending she wrote 13 years ago? Bah. And that last bit, 19 years later? Blimey was it naff, it felt both too easy and too contrived. And I know she was worried abt someone else appropriating Harry but anyone can write abt those 19 intervening years so what the bloody hell was that?

I feel betrayed and now there won't be another book and I am pissy, PISSY.

rockmama-in-waiting

Me too! Me too!

*SPOILERS*

First off, I was really pleased that 2 out of the three things I was sure would happen DID; ie- Harry as a horcrux and Snape being a good guy. Rowling follows storytelling tradition too closely for Snape not to have been redeemed in the end. I also liked that he made it pretty clear that he didn't any of it for Harry, but out of love for Lily; it made him just a little more fleshed out. I was pretty sure that Dumbledore wasn't dead, but obviously, I was mostly wrong about that. (In the wizarding world, it seems like it's hard for ANYONE to stay ENTIRELY dead)

I do agree with some of the PP; that Rowling seemed to have a "shit, it's the end of the series and I've got to get everything in, so I'll cram it into about 50 pages at the end" feeling about it. And while the ending was "feel good" it wasn't necessarily "good." It was the "happily ever after, we've named our kids after the fallen, the circle of life, to everything turn, turn, turn, etc" ending that everyone probably thought they wanted, but when they actually read, felt a bit cheated. Rowling was lucky enough to create an engaging world to set her stories in (SO important for any fantasy writer!) and we all probably would rather have left it at the beginning of the rebuilding process rather than in the belle epoch after Voldemort's downfall.

All in all, though, pretty satisfying. Can't wait til the Prawn is old enough to introduce her to the HP universe. :)

Jane

Felt book 7 had a well rounded satisfying feel to it ....it didn't seem to neatly tied up and was moved to tears by Dobby and his death ! It wasn't a straightforward magical blockbuster and to me there were themes which related to life/death/redemption.

Liza

I agree with everyone about the epilogue!!!

It was an awful balance of TMI "lived happily ever after" re: Ginny, Harry, Hermione & Ron, and not enough re: everyone else except Draco. I thought it was just right for him, only of course I wanted to know who he married. And how about a middle name for Harry & Ginny's eldest? Fred, for example? Or Sirius? And who the hell is Rose? Or are we just staying with the Lily/Petunia theme? Also? What happens to Dudley??? (And his parents, I suppose.)

spinarella

Was surprised that there was so little about Aunt Petunia; thought she'd play a bigger role. Was pleased that Snape was proven to be the good guy. Agree about the epilogue; too neat and tidy a way to end it (but maybe she can do another series about the kids?!?!?). And yes, cried when Hedwig died, but more when Harry had the four escorting him to the final showdown. LOVED Mrs. Weasley's part in the final battle!
All in all, was very pleased with how she tied things up, and am impressed with how she would keep different details strung through the entire series.

victoria

I thought that this was the best book of all. She didn't fill it with too much "stuff" this time. I bawled several times (Dobby,Ron coming back,Harry walking into the woods to name a few) I have to say that I was shocked by how flippantly she killed so many people.
I liked the 19 years later thing. She has said that while Harry's story is definately done, she would never say never to writing more like it. Maybe in a few years we'll get an answer to so many new questions - what happened to the Dursleys, were Hermione's parents safe, What happened to all the Malfoys, etc. Am just rereading the ending, as I was reading madly, and missed a few things. Am a little sad that it is all over really

electriclady

I had never liked the Harry-is-a-Horcrux theory but I loved the way she pulled it all together in the end. The book was brutal, just brutal--hard to imagine a 10-year-old kid reading it--I cried all over the place. Totally satisfying. Glad she redeemed Snape. But I agree with the rest of you about the epilogue--I don't care about their kids (though I suppose it was her way of bringing it full circle, to when they were little kids going off to their first year), I want to know what are they all doing for jobs? (We know none of them but Neville is working at Hogwarts...) What happened to the rest of the Weasleys, and Luna, and and and...

I think it makes sense to introduce a flawed Dumbledore only in the last book because remember, we have been seeing Dumbledore only through Harry's worshipful eyes. We've been seeing, over the past couple of books, him growing up and understanding that adults are more complicated than he thought--that the best people have flaws. Seeing Dumbledore for everything he was was part of Harry's final journey to becoming a man.

Lynnette

Wait a minute, "daughter?" Did I miss something, skimming one day? So happy for you, T! I know how much you wanted a girl. I love mine to pieces and they are so much fun. And I'll just wait for the movie, like I always do, Dh is a HP nut, though, so I better not let on that "I know..."

Vicky

It would have been great if Harry had seen Dudley on the platform with Petunias first magical granchild....

nona

Vicky, so true! I agree with a lot of the dissatisfied comments. I wanted a bit more about Petunia-- but I was happy with Dudley's goodbye. The book did drag on in the beginning, and I couldn't believe how many pages were going by with no horcrux destroyed. Was she trying to build suspense, or was her pacing way off? But I guess the Snape/Lily thing really won me over and made me content-- what an amazing character she created in Snape! I'm excited that other ppl have been inspired to dive into the HP books with all this stirring. I only started the books early this spring, in order to witness the finale. I don't think I could have taken having to wait for each of those books, though. I'm so impatient.

Patience

I also wondered why no one called their son Fred - maybe they could have just popped another one out due to necessity???

Also, what was the 'thing' whimpering and crying at the train station in the scene with Dumbledore? I had a feeling it was Voldemort's broken soul - but it made me feel a bit weird and sad. I remember thinking when I read it that if I can't work it out how would a 10 year old kid work it out- but then again I'm pretty obtuse!! =)

Amyesq

The book was OK, I also thought it took awhile for anything major to happen, like the Horcruxes being destroyed. For awhile it just seemed that they were shuffling from place to place with the Death Eaters after them. The book could have probably lost 100 pages and been the better for it.

The ending was good though. I am a sucker for a happy ending. I somehow always thought that Harry would end up as headmaster of Hogwarts, though. And did they ever mention who teaches Defense Against the Dark Arts now?

I also understand the story arc with ending as everyone's kids going off to school but to me that was just a little bit too cute. I would rather hear about what everyone's jobs are, etc. Still, very enjoyable.

Meredith

While I agree that the epilogue was treacly, I couldn't help but like it anyway. One of the themes that had united the entire series was Harry's longing for family and there he was with one finally. Made the infertile in me tear right up. (But somebody really should have been named Fred. And I love the previous posters' suggestion that Dudley should have been there with Petunia's magical grandchild.)

Alison S

Long timer lurker, have never posted before...
Loved the book, no major criticisms to make, LOVE the idea of Dudley and a magical grandchild for Petunia!

My children (9 and 12) both read the book in a day and loved it too, so I think she pitched the book just right. I think it's fabulous that so much of the world is united in reading this one book - it's more popular than the World Cup, which is a splendid irony...

Erin

Spoilers as well, though probably nothing that wasn't already mentioned!

LOVED the book! I thought it was a brilliant ending to the series. It made me cry several times--Hedwig, Dobby, and I was already crying about Percy coming back when Fred died. Then I bawled again when Harry so bravely walked into the forest with his parents and Sirius. (All of this crying was difficult to accomplish as I was either on a plane or at my IL's house, and they don't read HP. But I managed.) I was surprised at how quickly everything tied together at the end, but it felt fitting that it all happened at Hogwarts.

The ending was a little cutesy, but I can't even complain about that too much. It would have been really funny if Dudley's child was a witch or wizard, though!

K.

Just finsihed... Oh my. Ditto most of the above but why did *everyone* Miss the fact that we never say Harry's godson Teddy at the end. Surely Harry should have been a big part of Teddy's life. Tonks and Lupin left him with his grandmother before going off to fight, he was never mentioned again except the comment that from Harry that Harry was being as reckless a god father as his godfather had been or something to that effect. I really wanted to see more about the life after the war and the recovery of the wizarding world.

SSFB

K. did you not read the epilogue? Ted comes to Harry's for dinner all the time and is dating Bill and Fleurs daughter.

Summer

I finally finished the book and loved it! I don't have much more to add to some of the things that have already been said, except that one of my favorite things was the feel of the book. That Harry, Ron and Herminone had all come of age and now had to deal with the "real" world and all the choices and heartache that came with it. And, that maybe not everything is completely black and white.

Kay/Hanazono

Phew, I just finished this morning! I agree with you, T, that this book was head and shoulders above the last few (the last one I really loved was 3), and I found the ending (before epilogue) mostly satisfying. I think I would have been happier without the epilogue, but then again I think all of the books have a little feel-good coda at the end, right?

In any case, I'm glad I can start looking around the internets again after sequestering myself for the past week! :)

Kristin

What a great discussion, and I'm so glad to join it! I raced through it, then thudded to a stop 80 pages from the end, loathe to finish the series. I think a lot of the readers make great points. Patience, I too thought that the whimpering thing was the little bit of Voldemort's soul, but couldn't be sure, and was creeped out by how fetus-y it was, and the whole, "leave it alone, there's nothing to do".

I was very pleased with the redemption of Snape and hoped for it from the 1st chapter of #6. I was also touched by the redeption of poor Kreacher, and was so sad at the loss of Dobby. As the brother said, "I liked that elf." (or came to, after a few books).

I noted that JK left some blatant doors open to further books, many of which people mention in the comments re: what happened to particular characters. But also: Mad Eye's body was never found. The 3 hallows were never united by Harry, and are still out and about.

I had two nit picky questions: why do the kids on the train already refer to Snape as Snivellus when they're going to Hogwarts for what seems to be the first time?

And isnt' it the Griffindor sword that Neville uses to kill Nagini at the end, which the goblin ran off with, previously?

I hated the english kids' cover, but wanted a matching set. A shot on the dragon would've been cool.

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